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Monday, June 25, 2007
Stop Snitchin’

“I’m major leagues, who’s catching because I’m pitchin,’ Jose Canseco just snitchin’ because he’s finished.” - Rick Ross “Everyday I’m Hustlin’”

Jason Giambi and George Mitchell’s agreement that Giambi will testify so long as he does not have to rat out his compatriots begs the question, when is it okay to report or not to report illegal or anti-social activities to interested authorities? Social norms within and beyond sports are in conflict here. Individual freedom, privacy, and loyalty suggest that one has no duty to tell, and perhaps has low moral character for telling. Protecting others, the rule of law, openness and honesty, suggest that one should or must cooperate with those authority figures charged with rooting out and punishing untoward, illicit or illegal behavior.

Ray Lewis was charged with murder because he wouldn’t drop a dime (quarter? phone card? text message?) on his buddy who killed someone in a scuffle. Initially, he was disparaged by the media for obstructing justice. But he was soon forgiven.

Carmelo Anthony was chastised for appearing in a low-budget video shot in his hometown of Baltimore entitled, Stop Snitchin’. Like young Vito Andolini in Godfather II, you mind your business in the ghetto. The Stop Snitchin video was marketed towards hiphoppers who buy underground mixtapes and videos on street corners in innercities. You will not find it in Borders. It was not marketed to children or even most adults, only to those who already believe in the “code” in the first place. Carmelo was disparaged, but ultimately forgiven.

Now Giambi refuses to sing. I predict Jason Giambi will be treated the same way. He’ll be disparaged and quickly forgiven. We feel we must do something to honor the rule of law and openness and honesty. But not too much, because it seems obvious that fraternal loyalty is the greater principle. Consider that, years ago, Jose Canseco told us all about how prevalent steroids were in the game. He snitched, loudly and proudly. And he will never be forgiven.


I feel you have one extreme flaw in this that causes the whole thing to unravel: The first athletes you mentioned are or were active. Canseco was retired, and selling a book to boot.

Imagine if Peyton Manning stepped forward and said that he'd name names about who was doing steroids on his team and in the NFL. Fans would cheer, but his peers would despise him.

Basically, it's a complex, interesting issue that I don't believe you gave proper time, research and thought to. The Canseco comparison effectively kills whatever point you were trying to make.


Anonymous William K. Wolfrum -- 6/25/2007 9:23 PM  

Your quote of Rick Ross has won me over for a lifetime.

Blogger Jarrett Carter -- 6/28/2007 10:52 PM  

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